Please note off-roading is required to get to the trailhead. Although you don’t need a 4×4, I wouldn’t recommend this hike if you have a low clearance vehicle.
Robbers Roost Trail is an out and back trail in the Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness located 20 miles northwest of Sedona, Arizona. It’s a lightly trafficked trail. We didn’t see anyone on the trail and I loved it. It was just us and the stunning red rocks.
Due to the recent rainfall, Forest 525C Rd was a bit wet and muddy. We drove as long as we could without getting stuck. I will leave the parking location GPS coordinates in the Good To Know section below for those of you who want to follow my guide.
Brrr…it was cold that morning. Folks, winter comes to Sedona if you didn’t know. We geared up and began the hike on Forest 525C Rd.
After 0.8 miles, there were cairns on the right-hand side to indicate the Robbers Roost Trail. The hike began on a downhill.
Thank you to whoever hiked before us that morning. This trail isn’t marked well so it would’ve been challenging if we could not make out the trail in the snow.
When the trail splits, keep to the left like Xena is showing you below. After this, when in doubt, continue to the left.
After a short climb, we were presented with this view. Isn’t it beautiful? I just love the desert in winter!
Shortly after this beautiful view, I was challenged with heights. When I was doing research on this hike, it said it was family-friendly. I disagree.
To enjoy the stunning view from the cave, you must go through this section. My fear of heights has gotten so much better in the past few years but I couldn’t even look at it without feeling anxious in the beginning. So Steve decided to go first and check the other side and report back. He left. Then, Xena followed.
I got the positive report that it gets better on the other side but I sat there with an anxious heart. Several minutes passed. Then, I got the courage to push through, which surprised me. So I slowly took one step at a time and didn’t look down. Surprisingly and thankfully, the surface of the rocky slope wasn’t slippery at all. It was better than I anticipated.
On the other side, this was the view and it was better. And the cave!
Robbers Roost, also known as Shermans Cave, was an impressive room and it felt special. It is believed to have been a place where the Shaman of the local tribe would have performed healing and ceremony.
Photos from the cave:
Now, I don’t know why she has to stand on the edge to enjoy the view, but I try not to focus on that while we adventure for my faint heart
but more importantly, not to break her adventurous spirit.
There you have it. This is a short hike but has a history and ruins are super fascinating. There are other trails available nearby if you wish to hit a couple of trails on the same day.
Sedona, you are marvelous! We’ll be back!
Good to Know:
- Hike Date: 2.17.19
- Distance: 3 miles RT
- Elevation Gain: 780 ft
- Maximum Elevation: 5,280 ft
- Difficulty Level: Moderate-Challenging
- Off-road driving required to the trailhead (Coordinates: 34.930970, -111.972040)
- Park on Forest 525C Rd (Coordinates: 34.915601, -111.978357)
- Permit/Fee: None